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Home > Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022): A Review

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022): A Review

Glass Onion Knives Out

A New Benoit Blanc Mystery

In a much anticipated spiritual sequel of Knives Out, beloved detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) returns to the screen in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.  Though the two movies have nothing in common besides the reappearance of the eccentric detective, the storytelling flair of Rian Johnson shines through just as powerfully.

The story starts when Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a wealthy entrepreneur, sends a wooden puzzle box to five of his friends (Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, and Kathryn Hahn), inviting them to his island for a murder mystery party.  Intrigued, all five guests decide to go, with the addition of Blanc when he is hired by one of them.  While the party doesn’t end up going exactly as planned, a murder does occur, and Blanc is the only one who can solve it in time.

The Cast

The star-studded cast is perhaps the most noteworthy part of the film — the acting talent is absolutely marvelous despite the rather one-dimensional characters that they portray. Aside from Andi (Janelle Monáe) and Blanc, the rest of the characters seem to fit some rather typical stereotypes, including the wealthy prick, the aggressive misogynist, and the flighty airhead. Despite the flatness of them, the dynamic of the group still seems to shine. While audiences may not personally connect to or sympathize with any of the characters, they may still be drawn into the drama and tension created among them.  

The Plot

Much like Knives Out, the film spreads the clues throughout its duration — “hidden in plain sight” as Blanc claims.  The pieces are there for the audience to put together, with minor inclusions and subtle occurrences that all seem to matter by the end of the mystery when everything is pieced together. The devil is in the details, with lots of layers that end up being transparent and obvious, hence the title of the film. If viewers pay close attention, they might be able to guess the solution to the crime even before the event actually happens, which may be seen by some as detrimental. There are other twists and turns, of course, but the mystery could be seen as simplistic by some. As Blanc himself states, “it’s so dumb!”  Even the resolution to the movie doesn’t seem very satisfying, though it does leave audiences questioning the state of the world today. Its messages, especially about the wealthy, are a tad heavy-handed as well.

Glass Onion Knives Out

The plot also gets off to a rather slow start. The first 45 minutes of the 2 hour and 20-minute film are spent in a sort of meme-like fever dream that, at the very least, simulates the entire vibe of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Audiences are given brief insight into Blanc’s personal experiences during the lockdown, including some rather wonderful cameos of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Natasha Lyonne, as well as posthumous appearances by Stephen Sondheim and Angela Lansbury in a laughable round of popular video game Among Us.  While it is entertaining to get a feel for the characters and their personalities in the contexts of the pandemic, the humor occasionally grows awkward or perhaps even too modern, which may throw off audiences of older generations. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of audience the film is geared towards, giving it an awkward tone until it settles into the mystery at hand. Once it gets into the groove of the true story, that’s when things really take off, creating a whirlwind mystery that keeps audiences guessing with its twists and turns.

Cinematography

In a moment of cinematic brilliance, the lights in Bron’s mansion all go out, throwing the party into utter chaos.  Searchlights sweep the island as the characters panic, creating a spooky atmosphere that plays with shadows and builds tension. It’s a truly remarkable moment that crescendos into an unexpected climax, leading to questions about where the second half of the movie is going to go. 

Final Thoughts

If viewers can get past all of these minor shortcomings, however, it truly is an enjoyable film. It’s delightfully weird, quite comical, and Blanc’s quasi-Southern semi-unidentifiable accent will never get old. It’s great to see more of the background of his character, and refreshing to see a detective that actually seems quite empathetic and compassionate towards the people he’s helping. While he does take on fascinating cases just to stave off boredom, he gets personally invested in the well-being of those who hire him, and it’s quite nice to witness. He’s a delightfully quirky detective in the current revival and revision of the detective fiction genre.

Glass Onion can be streamed on Netflix.

Glass Onion Knives Out

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022): Official Netflix Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Cailen Fienemann is a current student at Le Moyne College pursuing her BA in English and Communications with a film studies minor and a creative writing concentration.  Though uncertain about her career end-goals, any job that allows her to write is a cherished one indeed.